History of Krump Dance
Krumping is relatively new urban street dance-form that began in South Central Los Angeles and is characterized by free, expressive, and highly energetic moves involving the arms and chest. It has become a major part of hip hop dance culture.
Krump came out of the earlier "clowning" style of Tommy the Clown begun in the early 1990s and his "Battle Zone" dance competition.
Krump is an emotional and aggressive dance. It is similar in form and practice to traditional weapon dances, and for this reason is considered by many African-American krumpers to be symbolic of, or referential to, their tribal roots. Dance "battling," a form of dance where competitors face-off in a direct and aggressive competition, is an integral component of krump in a similar way to the earlier breakdance Battles breakdancing, with "dissing" (mocking), and heightened moments of frantic, aggressive arm and chest movements (known as "buck" moves) being common.
For many participants there is a strong Christian spiritual element to the dance.
"Tight Eyez", a key early figure and now krump teacher, regularly speaks of Christian healing and gives praise to Jesus for the upbringing of this movement. The backronym "Kingdom Radically Uplifting Mighty Praise" is now often used by him, and this usage has spread widely.
Face-painting was an intergral part of the clowning style, and was also common in early krumping, such as music videos by the artist Missy Elliott, and the feature film Rize. It is less common now, and when modern krumpers do use face paint, it is more likely to be in reference or homage to African war dancers, rather than clown-style.
Like all forms of street dance, hip hop music is the predominant type used for krump. Although many[who?]credit the originator of buck music to a group called Tha J-Squad, who continue to Produce "tracks" that have influenced how Krump has turned out to be. The orginator of Krump, Tight Eyez, also produced a few albums that promotes the spirituality of the dance. The style of hip hop is an essential factor in krump dancingmusic sets the tone, tempo and mood of the dance "battle." The music is usually upbeat and aggressively lyricized, although music is often modified to remove lyrics creating "instrumentals."
Some krump groups are known as "families" or "fams," reminiscent of B-boy crews, with families organized around a senior member known as the Big Homie, who serves as both a dance instructor and a spiritual mentor of sorts. The internal structure of a family is hierarchical, within fams each person is given a rank based on thier skill. Names in fams range from:Twin,Jr,lil,young,kid,boi,girl,baby,princess,prince,j dot, j dash, soulja, mama,tiny,infant,mz,lady,sista etc. Twins are individuals who feed off of another person's style and equal to the big homie. Anyone can have a twin. The ones who follow or have Big Homies are known as Lil Homies or "Lils", they are taught the big homie's style and create their very own styles in the process. Big Homies are a big help to lils because many comes from different situations so it is the big homies job to also play a role as a father figure to some.
Feuds between Fams
In late October 2008 a feud between two major Hialeah, Florida Krumping Families began. It was instigated by a family that is named DKK (Dominican Krumping Kings), they stated hurtful comments about a prominent family named Crisis. It is disputed as to what was said about Crisis, but it is known that the general idea stated was that DKK was a more talented family than Crisis. Crisis members have repeatedly challenged many, if not all, members of DKK to an all-or-nothing battle, but time after time DKK has refused to show up. On October 21, 2008 it is expected that 2 major figures from each family will battle at their school.It will be the first DKK V. Crisis battle since that same major DKK Krumper was beaten twice in late-August. It is not yet known what direction the feud will take after the 21st, but many expect for the younger & less experienced DKK to slowly disintegrate due to an ongoing power struggle. Many members have stated discontempt due to the fact that DKK has drifted away from its original goal of becoming a legendary Krump Family, and now seems like many over-confident rookie dancers.
Dancers in Europe form groups called "Kommunity Krump." The "Monster of Krump" series has provided a forum in Europe for competitions between these groups.
In Japan a nationwide krump dance tournament was conducted, with first prize being a battle against Lil' C and Miss Prissy. The event was hosted by Masaki Sumitani (Razor Ramon Hard Gay).
Lil' C is featured in the David Michalek Exhibit Slow dancing, which was exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, California, and London. It has been profiled by Apple, and radio station KCRW.
Krumping in Popular Culture
David LaChapelle's 2005 documentary Rize, is an intimate portrayal of the clown dancing subculture, and was featured at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. He says of the movement: "What Nirvana was to rock-and-roll in early '90s is what these kids are to hip hop. It's the alternative to the bling-bling, tie-in-with-a-designer corporate hip-hop thing. Krumping has also risen in popularity in places such as Brazil, Detroit,Houston,Clanton and Boston. 'Krumpers' such as Royal, Loyal, Phanatik, Gutta, Skust, and Knockout Kid have propelled krumping into the dancing mainstream." This has given Krump plenty of exposure and since then it has risen in popularity in the hip hop dance community.
Clowning was featured in the second episode of the eleventh season of MADtv. Also, Alyson Hannigan guest-starred on an episode of MADtv where she took clowning lessons from the same two clowns and they now appear in many episodes of the show. She guest-starred to promote Date Movie, in which her character, Julia Jones starts krumping (with face paint) in front of Hitch, played by Tony Cox.
Clowning was featured on episode 7 of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 6.
There is a small segment on krumping in the movie Bring It On: All or Nothing. Britney (Hayden Panettiere) wants to add the style to a dance routine for the squad to give them more diversity in their performance.
Krumping was a featured style of dance on the Fox reality show So You Think You Can Dance in episode #311 (originally aired June 27, 2007). Dancers Sara and Jesus performed a krumping routine choreographed by Lil' C. Additionally, on an episode that originally aired August 1, 2007, Dominic Sandoval and Lauren Gottlieb also performed a krumping routine choreographed by Lil' C who was a choreographer for Bring It On: All or Nothing.
The Simpsons featured Krumping in Little Orphan Millie: Bart attempted dance moves to win back his classmates' love. When that failed to work, Marge joined in with him.
The movie Stomp the Yard features Krumping in the beginning of the film.
Krumping is a street dance popularized in the United States that is characterized by free, expressive, exaggerated, and highly energetic movement involving the arms, head, legs, chest, and feet.
The youths who started krumping saw the dance as a way for them to escape gang life and "to release anger, aggression and frustration positively, in a non-violent way."
The root word "Krump" came from the lyrics of a song in the 1990s.
It is sometimes spelled K.R.U.M.P., which is a backronym for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise, presenting krumping as a faith-based artform.
Krumping was created by two dancers: Ceasare "Tight Eyez" Willis and Jo'Artis "Big Mijo" Ratti in South Central, Los Angeles during the early 2000s.
Clowning is the less aggressive predecessor to krumping and was created in 1992 by Thomas "Tommy the Clown" Johnson in Compton, California. In the 1990s, Johnson and his dancers, the Hip Hop Clowns, would paint their faces and perform clowning for children at birthday parties or for the general public at other functions as a form of entertainment.
In contrast, krumping focuses on highly energetic battles and dramatic movements which Tommy describes as intense, fast-paced, and sharp.
CBS news has compared the intensity within krumping to what rockers experience in a mosh pit. "If movement were words, krumping would be a poetry slam." Krumping was not directly created by Tommy the Clown; however, krumping did grow out of clowning. Ceasare Willis and Jo'Artis Ratti were both originally clown dancers for Johnson but their dancing was considered too "rugged" and "raw" for clowning so they eventually broke away and developed their own style. This style is now known as krumping. Johnson eventually opened a clown dancing academy and started the Battle Zone competition at the Great Western Forum where krump crews and clown crews could come together and battle each other in front of an audience of their peers.
"Expression is a must in krump because krump is expression. You have to let people feel what you're doing. You can't just come and get krump and your krump has no purpose."
David LaChapelle's documentary Rize explores the clowning and krumping subculture in Los Angeles. He says of the movement: "What Nirvana was to rock-and-roll in the early '90s is what these kids are to hip-hop. It's the alternative to the bling-bling, tie-in-with-a-designer corporate hip-hop thing." LaChapelle was first introduced to krump when he was directing Christina Aguilera's music video "Dirrty". After deciding to make a documentary about the dance, he started by making a short film titled Krumped. He screened this short at the 2004 Aspen Shortsfest and used the positive reaction from the film to gain more funding for a longer version. In 2005, this longer version was released as Rize and this film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Auckland International Film Festival, and several other film festivals outside the United States.
Aside from Rize, krumping has appeared in several music videos including Madonna's "Hung Up", Missy Elliott's "I'm Really Hot", The Black Eyed Peas' "Hey Mama", and Chemical Brothers "Galvanize". The dance has also appeared in the movie Bring It On: All or Nothing, the television series Community, and the reality dance competitions So You Think You Can Dance and America's Best Dance Crew. Russell Ferguson, the winner of the sixth season of So You Think You Can Dance, is a krumper. The original web series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers also featured krumping in season one during the fifth episode, "The Lettermakers".
There are four primary moves in krump: jabs, arm swings, chest pops, and stomps. Krumping is rarely choreographed; it is almost entirely freestyle (improvisational) and is danced most frequently in battles or sessions rather than on a stage. Krumping is different stylistically from other hip-hop dance styles such as b-boying and turfing. Krumping is very aggressive and is danced upright to upbeat and fast-paced music, whereas b-boying is more acrobatic and is danced on the floor to break beats. The Oakland dance style turfing is a fusion of popping and mimeing that incorporates storytelling and illusion. Krumping is less precise than turfing and more freestyle. Thematically, all these dance styles share common ground including their street origins, their freestyle nature, and the use of battling. These commonalities bring them together under the umbrella of hip-hop dance.
Battle: when competitors face-off in a direct dance competition where the use of arm swings and chest movements known as flares and bucks are common.
Biter: someone who attends sessions or watches battles in order to feed on others' styles and originality so that they can mimic those moves later at another battle and pass them off as coming from their own inventiveness i.e. plagiarism.
Session: when a group of krumpers form a circle, or cipher in hip-hop context, and one-by-one go into the middle and freestyle.
Buck: an adjective used to describe someone who excels in krumping.
Call-Out: when a krumper initiates/requests a battle with another dancer by calling them out.
Labbing: when krumpers get together to create new moves and/or adapt their style.
Kill-Off: when a krumper performs a set of movements that excites the crowd to the point where the battle is over and the crowd surrounds the krumper; the opponent is "killed off."
Jabs: short, sharp, staccato movements when the arms extend from the chest outwards.
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